Gail's Book Nook

Monday, February 28, 2011

Looking Out the Window: Author Danielle Thorne Writes Uplifting Devotional



Finding Peace Through Self-Forgiveness

Consider this anecdote:
The Devil & the Duck

Once there was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw his grandma's pet duck. Out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. How he was shocked and grieved! In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching.

Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally just smiled and said, "Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help." She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally went fishing, and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He went to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you..."

This month, with Easter just around the corner, I'd like to thank Gail for allowing me to share my feelings about the Atonement, that great sacrifice that Christ undertook in Golgotha. We're taught that He died that we may live again and also so we could return to our Heavenly Father clean and without sin. It is beyond the scope of my comprehension to imagine even a half-mortal man taking upon himself all of the pain, suffering, mistakes, and dark sins committed by everyone who lives upon the Earth. It brings to mind some of the lines from one of my favorite hymns, "I Stand All Amazed": I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me;I tremble to know that for me He was crucified,That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died. O it is wonderful that He should care for me Enough to die for me!O it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

Hear an arrangement of this hymn:

As we all strive to forgive others and do unto others as we would have them do unto us, I often contemplate on how hard we are on our own selves. We forgive others, sometimes easily, and far more often than we forgive and forget the mistakes we make ourselves. If the Great Creator died so that we may live, who suffered and paid the prices for our sins, who are we to not accept that sacrifice and forgive ourselves?

As I have gotten older I've learned to accept the Atonement in new ways. First, I understand now that He didn't just suffer for sin, but experienced all of the hurt, pain and agony that we do. When we suffer physical pain or our hearts are breaking, He is one who has been there and knows what we are going through. We can be comforted by someone who truly can emphasize.
Second, I've learned to let go of the mistakes that I have made. Forgiving myself, especially the weight of regret, is hard to do. Through understanding the Atonement, I've learned that by not forgiving myself, I make a mockery of the greatest gift that will ever be given to me. It insults His sacrifice and in essence, wastes what He endured to provide us with an eternal gift.
Our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy. He sent His Only Begotten to provide a way to make that possible. By embracing the Atonement (and ignoring the whispers of Satan who would have us carry the burden of our own sins to drag us down), I believe that we can be more productive, more faithful and in our lives, find more joy.
~Danielle Thorne
You can find out more about my faith at
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Anne Patrick said...

Danielle, I loved this devotional. Thanks for sharing! It's an awesome example of God's unconditional love for us.

And thank you, Gail for doing this inspiring series of devotionals. They've all been great!

Linda Swift said...

What a lovely early Easter message, Danielle. I espeically liked your comments about forgiving ourselves. That is the hardest part of forgiveness for me. Linda

Anonymous said...

Thank you Danielle for this devotion. You pointed out some things I hadn't thought about, as well as reminded me of things I'd heard before. Thanks for giving me something to think about and ponder on today! And I listened to the song on is beautiful. It's been a long time since I heard it.

Danielle Thorne said...

Thanks for visiting Gail, and thanks for the comments. :)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hello Everyone,

Thanks to Danielle for sharing her wonderful devotional. And thanks to all for stopping by.

Mary L Walling said...

Hi Danielle,
I am so glad you quoted "I Stand All Amazed". It is one of my favorite sacrament hymns. But it is no secret in our ward that I will cry while leading any or all of the sacrament hymns. The music and the words touch my heart so deeply.
Forgiving ourselves is part of the repentance process, but is so hard to do. I have seen this in action and have wondered if Heavenly Father forgives us so easily why is it so hard for us to forgive ourselves? Thanks for this devotional. It was beautiful.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Thank you Gail, for having this devotional. And thank you, Danielle for the wonderful story. I had never heard it before. It was also nice to be reminded that we must forgive ourselves and begin anew. You quoted one of my favorite hymns. I love it. Thanks for such an inspiring devotional.

Marianne Evans said...

Beautiful post. ladies! Forgiveness - both given and received - is overwhelmingly powerful. God is so good! Wonderful devotional, and thanks for the uplift!!

Joyce DiPastena said...

I loved the story of the duck, Danielle. How true, that we let Satan turn us into slaves when we hesitate to confess our sins and take advantage of the atonement and forgiveness that the Lord so lovingly extends to us. A beautiful devotional. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Heather Justesen said...

Lovely post, Danielle. Thanks for sharing!